How To: Survive The Holidays Away From Family

hello simply clarke readers!! i am so excited to take over for marquis today, she actually designed my blog!! isn’t it pretty??


i am excited to take over her blog for the day and give you some tips on how to survive the holidays with your in laws!!  for me, not being with my family for the holidays is really really hard.  it might be hard for you too, so i wanted to give you some tips that might help spending the holidays away from your family a little bit easier!!


last year was the first time in my entire life i was away from my family for Christmas.  i was engaged and in my family, we take turns at in laws.  i was home for thanksgiving, so it was my turn to be away for Christmas.  i remember so well it was Christmas eve and i was an anxious mess.  i was sobbing hysterically as we drove from my apartment to my in law’s house for Christmas eve festivities.  i just wanted to go home, 300 miles away to my home where my parents were and the house i grew up in was.  i just wanted to be home.  my sweet fiancé now husband didn’t take it personally and did his best to comfort me.  i couldn’t believe what a baby i was being!! i wanted to have fun and enjoy the holiday, but i couldn’t stop crying!! i felt so pathetic!! so here are some things that can help so you don’t act like me on Christmas!!


bring some family Christmas traditions to wherever you are.   for me, that would be listening to the carpenters as Christmas music and wearing matching pajamas.  whatever your holiday traditions may be, bring a little of them into your day when you are away from family.
cuddle up and watch a Christmas movie. my family always loved watching how the grinch stole christmas with jim carrey.  i watched that last year when i was away from them and it made me feel a little bit closer.
skype with them as they open their presents and as you open yours.  with technology, it is great that you can be closer to your family or loved ones than you would have been a few years ago!! i made sure i skyped with my family on Christmas day last  year, and it made me feel a lot better.
give service.  whether that is taking Christmas cookies to neighbors or volunteering at a homeless shelter on Christmas day or around the day, taking your problems outside of yourself is so valuable!! that really helps you manage to forget about yourself and your woes and homesickness and focus on others.  to me, that is the best thing you can do for homesickness!!
get your favorite holiday book that you would read as a family.  we always read this book called the legend of the candy cane. i loved LOVED that holiday book and is my absolute favorite.  read that or read a book that you would normally read with your family.
i hope all these things will make you feel closer to your family this season if you are away from them!!
happy holidays!!


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Week 19 Bumpdate


 Week 19 Bumpdate


size of the baby: Mango – 6.0 inches


total weight gain: I think around 6 pounds now. I go to the doctor today, so we will see.


gender: Ahh!! It’s a GIRL. If you haven’t seen the pictures from our Gender Reveal Party yet, head on over to my post from Tuesday. It was such an amazing day. It still feels so awesome to finally know that it is a girl and start calling her by her name (even though we are still officially deciding).


maternity clothes: Finally starting to look more pregnant this week and living in my maternity jeans for the most part.


movement: I am so so ready for Kevin to be able to feel her moving around. I love laying in bed at night or sitting on the couch and feeling her move around.


sleep: I have been sleeping so much better this week. I haven’t really had dreams that much at all, however, I have noticed I am waking up a few more times in the middle of the night.


missing: nata.


craving: salad which is pretty weird because I don’t eat too much salad. queso. anything sweet.


symptoms: nothing really this week.


kevin is: adjusting to the idea of having a daughter. It seems so much more real to know that she is a she and that our lives will be changing so much.


looking forward to: Christmas next week and seeing all of our family again!


best moments: for sure finding out that we are having a GIRL! I am just so happy and can’t stop daydreaming about her room and shopping online for room stuff/clothes/bows/headbands/shoes…etc. Girls are just so much fun!!


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The Farmer’s Wife + Win $50

Hello friends!

I’m Amy from the The Farmer’s Wife.


And, you guessed it… I AM the Farmer’s Wife. Life on the farm is pretty fab, especially when you have a smokin’ hot farmer for a husband. We have hundreds of acres to play on, winters off{ish}, and a great opportunity for our kids. Sure I have a never ending pile of bookwork, and like an acre of grass to mow weekly in the summer, on top of wrangling two wild animal children… but it truly is fabulous.


In fact, I was contacted about a year ago to do a reality show called, “The Fabulous Lives of Farmer’s Wives.” All I had to do was submit a casting video. At the time I was about 11 months pregnant though, and didn’t do it. I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for reality tv too. Shattered dreams, friends.


Here are a few reasons why you might like me and my blog…
Like I said, I have a dreamy farmer husband.
You can read his Man Behind the Blog post here.
Not only is he sexy, but he also happens to be the best daddy.


I also have two mini farmers.
Turns out, they are pretty darn cute too.
I blog about them fairly often.
Or if a good birth story is your jam… I’ve got that too.


I’m not afraid to share some embarrassing stories with my lovely readers.
That one time a girl used my toothbrush to clean the sink because she thought I… you’ll have to read it for yourself. I can’t use certain words here. I am a guest after all.
Or that time TSA nearly made me miss my flight when they found a bullet in my baby carrier. Thanks farmer.
Or when I had to have surgery while I was pregnant. Maybe more traumatic than embarrassing.


I like to cook. Or… more like bake. I share some pretty fab recipes.


I’ve got a thing for throwing parties too. Maybe you would call it an obsession. Either way you should definitely check out…


Or perhaps you like room/house renovations? Brody’s big boy room and Beckam’s nursery are my favs.

I also totally love my sponsors.If you would like to join in on the fun, I’m offering a special deal to all of you foxy readers! Check out my ad descriptions HERE and enter code CLARKE to get 50% off any ad space! OH, and just because I already like you all so much, I have 50 bones to give away to one lucky winner! Just in time for Christmas.Get entered below!

Hope to see you around.


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Keurig 2.0 Review

Influenster sent me this Keurig VoxBox, however, all opinions are my own. 
IMG_5127 IMG_5136 IMG_5141 IMG_5146 IMG_5151

I was beyond excited when I got an email from Influenster telling me I would be receiving a Keurig VoxBox in the mail within a few days. I may have even done a happy dance in Target with my husband watching. Little did I know, I would be doing an even bigger happy dance when I opened my mail in a few days. They didn’t just send me a Keurig, but the new Keurig 2.0 with K-cups, plastic K-Carafe, insulated K-Carafe, and carousel. It seriously felt like Christmas morning or to use hashtag terms it had me at hello (#hellokeurig).


With the Keurig 2.0, you can either brew a cup or use the K-Carafe to brew 4 cups when friends or family are visiting. The system is really easy to use and super quick. I love the sleek design and the touchscreen display. I also love the hot chocolate setting and the brew strength control. I tried the Starbucks Vanilla K-Cup first with some peppermint mocha creamer and it was AMAZING. I am currently drinking minimal caffeine with my pregnancy, but I can’t wait to use it even more once she is born! I love my Keurig.


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It’s A…

I will start off by saying, this may be the longest post, with the most pictures I have ever posted. I normally like to limit myself in order to keep your attention and not take up too much of your day – however, I just cannot contain my excitement over our Gender Reveal Party on Sunday. Some of you may have already seen it on instagram, but It’s A….

Gender Reveal Christmas Idea - It's a GIRL

G I R L ! ! !


We are beyond excited and I am still on cloud 9 from all the party fun! I worked super hard on all the party details from the Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star theme, to food ideas, to glittering over 50 “wear your guess” stars, to making a diy tissue garland with baby pictures of us and I was so glad it all came together. {the paper straws were my favorite!} Here a few of the details:

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star paper straws Star Sandwhiches cute cups diy tissue garlandAnd, I also stressed a little over the actual reveal idea. I knew I wanted to do something with “twinkle” lights to go with the theme and stay in line with the Christmas feel. However, I had no clue what to do with them. I had one idea that I tried a week before the party, and it just didn’t turn out right. Luckily, the next day I came up with an even better idea and headed to Michaels to buy the ornaments. Once I put the lights in the ornament, I instantly fell in love with the idea. To add a little twist, I decided to have our guests play a little game to get them involved in the “reveal” process. I cut up little pieces of paper and put a math problem on each one. Whoever’s math problem equaled my due date (12th), got to come up and open the envelope. Basically it was luck of the draw and a race to see who had the correct card. Our friend Chris had the lucky card and did an awesome job of building the anticipation. Once he opened the envelope (and faked us out a few times), he turned off the blue light!

Gender Reveal Game Gender Reveal Peek Anticipation Gender Reveal Idea ShockOur faces were priceless and it was a moment/feeling I will never forget. There was so much anticipation, cheering, laughing and smiling. I will admit, I got a little hot and nervous up there during the whole thing. We have a cute video of it that I keep watching over and over. It was just so full of joy. I couldn’t believe how much more real everything felt knowing our little girl is growing inside me. & Kevin definitely felt the pressure of raising a girl instantly lol. I love this last picture of us checking each others reaction.

Marquis and Lauren Jackie and Marquis Friends The crowd College Friends Work Friends Parents Soon to be Parents

The day wouldn’t have been half as fun without our friends and family. I think we had close to 45 people there and it was just so nice to have everyone in our home. I am so glad Kevin and I waited to be surprised and find out in that moment with everyone else. I keep saying it, but it was just such an amazing day and I am so thankful/blessed.


Let the shopping begin. To see all of the pictures from the party – check out my Facebook page.


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